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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA judge sides with Airbnb in Aimco suit over apartment rentals

January 03, 2018 10:12AM

Park La Brea Palazzo (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A federal judge ruled in favor of Airbnb in a lawsuit brought by Apartment Investment & Management Co. (Aimco) that sought to hold the home-sharing service liable for tenants who violated their leases by renting out their apartments.

Airbnb argued that the 1996 Communication Decency Act protects online service providers from being responsible for what their users post on the sites, according to Bloomberg. Judge Dolly M. Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California agreed, placing the onus on tenants to ensure that they do not break any agreements with their landlords.

Aimco sued Airbnb via an LLC tied to its Palazzo at Park La Brea properties after receiving numerous complaints of unruly home-sharing guests from tenants at the luxury complexes. If successful, the suit could have held Airbnb liable for any rentals of apartments where the landlord specifically bars subleasing, Bloomberg reported. Aimco argued that Airbnb should be considered a broker of short-term rentals and processor of payments.

Aimco sued Airbnb in both California and Florida in February, seeking monetary damages and an order barring Airbnb from subleasing at its properties. Aimco said following Gee’s ruling that it was “considering all of [its] legal options in California,” noting that a judge rejected Airbnb’s motion to dismiss its Florida suit several weeks ago. [Bloomberg] – Dennis Lynch